Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto spoke about the ‘double standards’ in Formula 1 and wonders why the FIA now has a different attitude towards Mercedes controversies than towards Ferrari in 2019 when the team suffered major public attacks and attacks from its competitors.
Red Bull recently sent an inquiry to the FIA regarding elements of the Mercedes powertrain on suspicion that the team had found a way to cool the air and thus release additional engine power when accelerating. The F1 rules clearly define the minimum air temperatures that enter the engine.
Mercedes claim they haven't done anything ‘illegal while Red Bull is waiting for an FIA response. Teams speak publicly about this topic, but this is not even close to the dramas we saw with the 2019 Ferrari engine.
Ferrari then probably used a ‘smart system’ to bypass the FIA’s oil checks, which the sport’s governing body solved by introducing additional sensors. The Ferrari engine was the subject of an FIA extensive investigation, but they were never proven to have broken the rules.
As a result, and since the FIA did not want long-term litigation with the team, a secret agreement ‘fell’ between the two sides according to which Ferrari must help the FIA improve its management of the legality of the drive units.
The whole affair led to bad relations between Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto because they disagreed over the impact of FIA directives. This season has so far been filled with several controversies due to which the FIA has had to react by introducing technical directives.
First, Red Bull and Mercedes argued over the flexible front and rear wings, and then suspicions arose that certain teams (including Mercedes) had been manipulating tire pressures for a long time. The Mercedes engine is now under a magnifying glass, and Binotto wonders why the FIA now has a different attitude towards Mercedes than towards Ferrari in 2019 and why now their car is not checked like Ferrari's then.
"FIA measures (technical directives) were needed because there were those who had a different interpretation of the regulations. And this is no different from what happened in 2019." "Why do they have a different attitude now? We were then too exposed to media attacks and attacks by our competitors.
But that is now part of the past. " "I think the tone used in 2019 is still wrong. But I think it's important to point out that what's happening now is no different from what happened in 2019 and what always happened in Formula 1, "Binotto said.